Ida'an language

Native to Malaysia
Region Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, and Sandakan districts of Sabah
Native speakers
10,000 (2013)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 dbj
Glottolog idaa1241[2]

The Ida'an (also Idahan) language is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by the Ida'an people of Sabah, Malaysia. The language has a long literary history, the first known writing in Idahan language was a manuscript dated 1408 A.D. The Jawi manuscript gives an account of an Ida'an man named Abdullah in Darvel Bay who embraced Islam and became one of the earliest known regions in Malaysia to embraced Islam.

Begak dialect is threatened with extinction, as younger speakers are switching to Malay.


Collection of words in English and translation in Ida'an, Bisaya and Adang Murut (Lun Bawang) in 1860 by Spencer St.John.


Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e ə o
Low a


Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop Voiceless p t k ʔ
Voiced b d a
Affricate Voiceless
Fricative s
Nasal m n ŋ
Lateral l
Trill r
Semivowel w j


  1. Ida’an at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Ida'an". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
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